Saturday, October 25, 2008


I think I’m going to do it. Join the SWAP (sewing with a plan) contest at Stitcher’s Guild , that is. I was pretty sure that with all the fabric and patterns I was purchasing for the fall I’d have all the required pieces to put together at least one wardrobe plan. And, I was right! This plan took me about one evening to put together and I’ve already purchased all the patterns and fabrics – woohoo! The twist this year is that is must be “A wardrobe which reflects a week in your REAL LIFE”. For me this will mean clothes for work, which is 95% of what I sew anyway.

The SWAP discussions have been reorganized too. I think it will be much easier to find a discussion thread.

Here’s a quick summary of the plan. (I need to draw out my pattern pictures when I’m organizing a plan. I just can't seem to visualize it as easily with a pattern envelope. The computerized version with the pattern line drawings is coming soon…)

Here are this year's rules:

  • Each SWAP must consist of 11 garments, which all work together to form a basic wardrobe. All garments must be handmade. You may knit, crochet or weave if you please, but they must be your own creations.
    4 bottoms - jeans, pants, shorts, skirts or kilts.
    6 tops - t-shirts, shirts, blouses, or camisoles.
    1 jacket - a tailored blazer, jeans-style jacket, sweater or shawl will do, as long as it looks right with everything else.
  • All garments must be made between November 1/08 and April 30/09
  • No purchase neccesary anywhere; this contest is open to anyone with a needle and thread, regardless of budget or availability of items.

Anyone else out there considering or already committed to this?

Oh yea, Gorgeous Fabrics , Hot Patterns , and Sew Organized are all donating prizes!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Trying to Catch Up

Monday gave me the perfect time to get caught up, well, mostly caught up.
Before I start does anybody know why my Outlook Express doesn’t work? (The error says: The connection to the server has failed. Account: 'OEmail', Server: '', Protocol: SMTP, Port: 25, Secure(SSL): No, Socket Error: 10060, Error Number: 0x800CCC0E)Or, why when I try to respond to blog questions through e-mail, it automatically goes to Outlook Express? I really want to get back to you but I have a TT (temper tantrum) everytime I see the OE box pop up.
Here are answers to some recent blog questions.
Summerset, of course you can steal the idea. And, I can’t believe that two of you noticed my box of plastic bags was the tiny sandwich size! I’m not so particular about the size anymore, just happened to have these on hand.
And, a couple more non-sewing, sewing items that I forgot to include.

I use the brush to clean out my machine instead of the one that came with it. The press and seal – I use for everything! I read about this in a PR review and have used it for all sorts of things. I cut it in strips and use it instead of tape on my pattern adjustments. I used it to stabilize gathers as I was attaching them. I used it to hold buttons in place while I sew them on by machine. It’s great because it doesn’t gum up the needle when you sew through it.

C_fabrication, I don’t remember where I got the binder but yes it’s small, just the right size to fit a Butterick, McCall’s or Simp. Pattern. The others are put in sideways and folded. I 3-hole punch the envelope. I used to use the clear plastic sleeves but when I got the smaller binder it just wasn’t necessary. I too fold my patterns the way they came from the factory but I keep them folded up inside the pattern instructions so the smaller bags still keep everything together. This seems a little OCD but when I fold the pieces into the instructions, I keep the pieces I didn’t use in a separate “fold”. That way, if I want to make it again, all the pieces I cut are separate from the pieces I didn't cut.

Here are my recent vintage pattern purchases. Sometimes when I come home I’m so exhausted I just want to veg out in front of the computer and the vintage pattern sites are so much fun. I’ve been checking the daily listings now instead of going to a certain era. The pamphlets that I ordered last week haven’t arrived yet but I’ll share them with you as soon as I can.

The story of the black skirt. Once upon a time I made a basic black ultrasuede straight, knee-length skirt. No matter what my body did, that skirt looked good. I wore it to death. Last year I was forced to retire the skirt before I had made a replacement. This resulted in many anxiety-ridden mornings staring into my closet. Very sad. Finally, I have a replacement!

My favorite design feature on the skirt is the combination of a pencil silhouette with multiple pleats instead of a slit at the back. Here’s the detail on another skirt from the same pattern in a dark gray. It’s so easy to do! I’ll try and diagram the process in another post because you could easily add it to any skirt pattern that is designed with a slit.

For the black skirt I attached a waistband, but for the gray I went back to an old standby – the grosgrain ribbon facing. Can you see how I did it from the pictures? I learned the process years ago. One of the keys to getting the ribbon to lie flat is to press a curve into it first. Who knew that grosgrain ribbon was flexible? (Sorry, I hate to throw things out there without and explanation but any details are just going to have to wait for a different post.)
As for the turtleneck, yea, so I bought this pattern and made a muslin on my quest for the perfect turtleneck. Then last weekend I got out my winter clothes and found this turtleneck, which I love! The only flaw is that there is a zipper in the back. I cut out three more on Monday and will play around with the zipper. Meaning; I’ll probably try at least one without the zipper to see if I can stretch the neck opening so that it's wide enough to fit over my head without breaking stitches but still holds the shape of the turtleneck.

Kristine tagged me ages ago! Finally, I have a response :)
Rules to the Game of Tag:
1. Link to your Tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. (See list below.)
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a post on their blog.

  • When I eat, I only eat one food at a time. You know, salad, turn the plate, vegetables, turn the plate, meat, turn the plate. Most of the time I don’t even realize I do it!
  • I was once mistaken for my her brother!
  • I got married (for the first time) at age 39. (Just so you know, prior to getting married I was perfectly happy being alone, not lonely.)
  • I’m terrible with numbers. (It’s possible I was 38 when I got married. No wait, I think it was 39.)
  • Two years ago, two weeks before my birthday I was in shock because my husband pointed out that I was already 47, not just turning 47. Honest truly.
  • Guess it’s redundant to point out that I never remember anniversaries. After filling out so many forms for my kids I think I have their birth dates correct. Just don't ask me how me how much they weighed when they were born!
  • After the first two weeks of work/school I realized I hadn’t worn the same thing twice. I kept it up for a total of 3 ½ weeks. (Well, somewhere around 3 ½ weeks.)

Thanks Linda for the Premio-2008 award!

Rules are:
Paste the rules on your blog.
Select 6 to 10 bloggers to whom I would like to give this award to. You're all nominated and tagged - how about that!
Curly Crafter
For Me by Me
Nibbles and Bytes
The Amazing Ms. O
Weekend Designer (Wow, I haven’t visited in a while and I just saw another project to add to my list – instructions for drafting a pair of jeans – cords for me. You must check out this site.)

Write 6 of your most important values:

Happy sewing to all!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vintage Alert!

This just in: Sheila at Out of the Ashes is offering 10% off all purchases. Just use the coupon code LEANMEAN. Thanks Sheila! Enjoy your shopping!

No time to chat, but if you're a vintage fanatic you've got to check out the items posted on Out of The Ashes yesterday. Mine are already in the mail.